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Tawny Owl

Tawny Owl Health

I’m sharing this one with you in the hope that it might reach somebody who knows a bit more about Owls than I do. I can’t say I’ve ever heard a bird with what appears to be a saw throat. Maybe this bird is getting old, or possible even have some sort of damage or illness. I’ve enabled the download feature on the audio file, feel free to send it to anybody you may think could shine some light on it. This Tawny Owl has been sounding like this for about two weeks now. I’ve seen it flying but too dark to get a decent look of the bird.

This is a different bird but I can’t post a blog without some sort of picture can i? :P


The last two months I've experienced so much change, what with the start of my new Job in Cardiff with Aden Productions, and also losing my beautiful Grandmother last week. It's times like these that remind us just how fragile life really is. It doesn't take much to throw you off-balance, even at times where things appear to be falling into place. I'm very lucky I have a strong, loving and supporting family that are always there to listen. My Nan Violet was certainly one of those, and despite having an endless list of health problems, she'd still listen to you moan about what really were, insignificant things in the grand scheme of life. Cherish your loved ones, they are irreplaceable. 

Below, just a small selection of images I've taken recently. I've not had much time outdoors, but the time I have had with the camera has been pretty productive. It's not quite spring yet for some of our migrants but they are turning up one by one. I do love Yellowhammers in spring and despite them being back on territory, they aren't singing just yet. We need a bit of warmer weather, which I believe is just around the corner. Keep your eyes open! 

Ian's Tawny Owls

Last week I was lucky to have been invited to an official feeding station for Tawny Owls run by Ian Howells. His setup was very professional, done so in a way that ensured minimal impact to the birds welfare, using constant low red light to minimise use of flash. I've personally never done anything like this in the night time and am usually not a big fan of using flash on birds but seeing an Owl in it's natural habitat during the hours in which they're most active, was a truly memorable experience. I took one single image and it came out like this... So called it a day! haha.

Tawny Owls

Started new Job at Llandegfedd today but still managed to find some time with the camera after work to photograph a friends local Tawny Owl. What a fantastic Bird to have nesting in your chimney pot! This is the adult female and I've been told that sometimes both parents perch out to keep watch. It probably gets quite hot and cramped in there, even more so when the chicks get bigger i bet! I suspect they'll be getting some fluffy white chicks out on the ledge pretty soon. When that happens the Parents may have to find a new perch for themselves. 


Got to drive my car on the road for the first time today but prior driving I went for a 2 minute walk along the Canal to check everything was in order. Fred the Terrapin was sunbathing as usual but my day was about to change when a member of the public pointed out a dead bird to me in a tree. Looking closer at the bird it appeared at first to be a Little Owl but looking at the pictures closely on my computer screen and it looks to be a young Tawny Owl. I'm going back to retreive the bird tomorrow just to make sure as it did look very small to be a Tawny and I have seen a few Tawnies in my life time. Lots of flying ants today! The birds and dragonflies are having a field-day!

Pontypool Uplands

Lots of Dragonfly on the wing today! Photographed my first Golden-ringed Dragonfly (still lots more to edit) and seen the first signs of new Froglet emerging from the water. Bumped into this Tawny Owl that was having a good old peak. I do have other news to share but due to legal issues I can't talk about it.. Just as well, as it is really really sad! It's regarding a Scheduled 1 Bird that by the looks has been poisoned :(. 

Also, Neodiprion sertifer (Pine Sawfly Larvae) was seen in the absolute thousands! Possible problematic in such high numbers so well worth keeping an eye on as these larvae will consume a lot of pine needles, to the extent that they can actually kill the tree altogether. 
It is said that if you get so many in one forest, on a quiet day, you can actually hear the droppings pattering on the forest floor. 

Llandegfedd & Blaenserchan

I've spent a lot of time at Llandegfedd this month so far for many reasons. What with the sun being out in the last couple of days, I saw the opportunity to record this years Butterflies and also wanted to check up on the Tawny Owls as I've been worried about their success this year compared to last year where they only managed to raise 1 chick. Well, I can happily report that they managed to raise 2 chicks that have since fledged and are up in a very tall oak tree. Prior to this sun, we actually had some really bad rain which effected many of our breeding birds in the UK. I've had stories of failing Goshawks and lots of flooded Meadow Pipit nests so far so lets hope we have some dry weather for a week or so to get them back on the right track. As I mentioned in my previous post, I had a meeting with Welsh Water on the 5th and I'm so happy to report that the meeting was very positive and though nothing is on paper yet, it looks like Welsh Water will accept the help of Gwent Wildlife Trust and work in partnership so improve/maintain the wildlife requirements onsite. This is exactly what I've been working hard for in the last 2 years since I started 'Llandegfedd Res Wildlife Community' on Facebook. I just hope that things move along smoothly and all the legal/financial are sorted asap so that work can be done ready for next year. I also managed to spend an hour up Blaenserchan in search of the beautiful Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary and within 2 minutes of walking up the path from the main car park I was greeted by 4 PBF escaping the harsh winds. I certainly had luck on my side as for the rest of the trip I didn't see a single butterfly as the winds really took over and most were hunkered down. 

Sebastopol & Llandegfedd

Today was a memorable day! Absolutely beautiful weather and plenty of fantastic wildlife showing really well for the camera. Lots of species of Damselfly on the canal already making the most of that warm sun, including this years first Emperor Dragonflies which are the first to emerge out of the larger Dragonflies. Llandegfedd's trip was short but wow! What a time! Some good and bad news however, the good news came in the form a Tawny Owl! She/He was hunting in the day time! Must be making up for the terrible weather we've had in the last couple days as it does have chicks to feed. The female Mandarin with her 4 chicks looked to be doing well until I examined the photos and it looks like she has a fishing hook stuck in her shoulder... Just in time to show Welsh Water at an official meeting with myself and the heads. Wish me luck! I have a full blown presentation ready for this meeting and I'm hoping that I'll have some good news to share with you as a result. There are a few exciting things happening at Llandegfedd, some of which, I can't even tell you!